With support from John Lyon’s Charity, we started the Urban STEAM project 2020 engaging school children and families with their locality through a series of exciting STEAM projects, each one investigating an important local issue.
School children choose a relevant topic to explore over six sessions, they research it during outside visits and workshops. Participants make and design to express their views and these are presented as physical models, artwork or digital outputs at the end of each school project.
STEAM is an educational approach to learning using Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths as access points for student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. The end result is students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem solving, embrace collaboration and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders and learners of the 21st Century!
Creative, Communicative, Collaborative
So what happened in 2020?
Due to the coronovirus outbreak, our delivery of the project in schools and with community groups was unfortunately affected. However, in 2020 we were able to deliver:
- Urban STEAM play activities at Wormholt Primary School in Easter holidays (see summary below)
- Urban STEAM activities for the Go Wild Summer Playscheme in Hammersmith and Fulham with referred children from 20 families
- Year 5 of Old Oak Primary started the project in September 2020. You can catch up with what they did in the news blogs:
Easter STEAM Activities at Wormholt Primary School
We delivered workshops for key worker children at Wormholt Primary during the Easter holidays.
During the sessions, children had the chance to make light pictures using photographic paper, paper planes and spinners, flags and chalk pictures as you can see in the pictures below.
Go Wild Summer Playscheme 2020
in the summer holiday 2020 we ran a playscheme for families in partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, at Phoenix School Farm and at Ravenscourt Park glasshouses. The play-scheme was popular and we worked with 20 families over the 5 week period week, during two days a week, morning and afternoon. We offered lots of STEAM activities including: making boats out of recycled plastic, making spinners and flyers, wild wall hangings and mobiles as well as mini beast hunts and pond dipping. We received really good feedback from the families involved.
And what about 2021?
Old Oak Primary School
The children at Old Oak Primary enjoyed so much working with us that we delivered more Urban STEAM project sessions for Year 4 followed by Year 6. Each class worked in two halves due to the hands-on nature of the project (up to 15 in each school group). Please refer to the Year 4: https://urbanwise.london/2578-2/ and Year 6: https://urbanwise.london/urban-steam-with-old-oak-primary-finding-solutions-to-local-rubbish-problems/ blogs for more information and you can watch the ‘Bee the change’ short film they made.
Kenmont Primary School
Kenmont Primary school Year 6, enjoyed a summer project about the litter that was invading their local environment, near to the Harrow Road and the towpath of the Grand Union Canal, particularly the discarded masks and protective plastic generated by the pandemic.
St Cuthbert with Matthias
We worked with Year 5 from St. Cuthbert with Matthias Primary school. They took local walks to assess environmental problems and sustainability in Earls Court which were then addressed by further research and design work.
Fulham Cross Academy
During the Summer term 2021 we worked with Fulham Cross Academy, a STEM Specialist School for boys and girls aged 11-19 at their two sites. The work was carried with support from the Schools Lead Climate Change teachers, Nathan Chardwell (mixed school) and Phoebe Smith-Barnes (girls school). The project at both sites consisted of supporting the schools’ Eco-teams, consisting of a group of students whose role is to help the school become more sustainable. We worked with the eco-teams by helping them understand how the school is doing in terms of sustainability (e.g. recycling, energy use) – identifying what aspect to focus to develop a campaign to involve the greater school community, The STEM aspect of the project involved undertaking surveys and project work to measure the school’s energy use – which is rather complex due to the nature of the school buildings and the way energy use is monitored. While the Art & design element of the project involved developing creative communication materials such as posters and displays to engage other students and staff.
North Kensington Young People and Families
We delivered 3 Urban STEAM workshops to young people in north Kensington after school : screen printing, paper making and scrap fabric workshop (with newly arrived Afghan refugees) and supported a Climate Change event for families in Hammersmith and Fulham, delivering a recycled art workshop. We also delivered some coding sessions after school this autumn to young people in north Kensington. We also ran some Urban STEAM activities during the summer play scheme in Hammersmith and White City for local families.
That’s all for now. And please remember:
“If you haven’t failed yet, you haven’t tried anything.” - Reshma Saujani, Lawyer, Politician, Founder of Girls Who Code